7 Best Automation Products to Save you Time
Running a business can seem like a never-ending to-do list.
The more work you do, the faster your business grows, so it can seem impossible to ever feel caught up.
The key to staying truly productive as a business owner is to dedicate as much time as you can to tasks that will help your business grow.
It’s a good strategy to delegate as many low-skill jobs as you can to other staff members, or even better, to automate them using business software.
There are tons of useful programs that can automate business processes for you, helping to create the time for you to focus on truly important projects.
Below, we list some of our favorite business automation products that help make you more productive.
BillingTracker Pro is one of several quality programs that allows you to automate your invoices. Using this software, you can ensure that all of your customers are invoices on time. Automating this side of your business helps you protect you from making billing errors, while keeping cash flow moving along quickly. In fact, BillingTracker Pro even helps you measure your cash flow, so you can monitor this side of your business without wasting too much time.
Continuous Payment Authority
This is hardly new technology, but it remains one of the most useful business automations you can set up. By allowing customers to arrange a continuous payment authority, there is no longer a need to invoice them every month. It’s arguably essential for any business with a subscription model.
Continuous Payment Authorities can be used to set up regular payments, or a one-off payment in the future. Online payment services such as Paypal and Square also allow customers to set up recurring payments.
Late Fee Manager
Late Fee Manager prevents you from having to chase overdue invoices. This stressful task takes a lot of time and energy, especially if your clients are non-responsive.
With this software, you can automate payment reminders, automatically add late fees to the client’s bill and allow them to set up recurring credit card payments.
Social media marketing is time-consuming enough without you having to jump between platforms and wait until the optimum time to post your updates.
Hootsuite allows you to monitor all of your social media accounts from the same browser window, while scheduling posts to go out in the future. As well as saving you time and boosting engagement, you can also use the Hootsuite analytics tool to discover what type of social content is proving most popular with your followers.
IFTTT stands for ‘If This, Then That’ and is arguably the most multi-functional tool automation tool available on the web. It connects all of your web devices in a way that when one task is performed, another is done automatically.
Want every Tweet you like to be stored in a spreadsheet? There’s an IFTTT ‘recipe’ for that. Maybe you want to share all your Facebook posts on Google+, or receive an email every time a new type of post appears on Craigslist. There’s recipes for these and hundreds more automations.
Slack Automation Bots
Slack is the group messaging system that’s giving Skype a run for its money. A major advantage is the amount of automated bots it has within its system.
You can use Slackbots to keep track of expenses, staff availability, or what’s on everyone’s to-do list with ease. Managers can instruct these bots to message their whole team, then collate the answers in a digestible summary. There are plenty of fun Slackbots that act as your personal weatherman, psychotherapist, or poker opponent if you wish.
The annoying back and forth, which seemed inevitable when scheduling group meetings, can disappear forever with Calendly. Simply send a Calendly request to everyone who’s invited, fill in the times and dates you’re available, then wait for everyone else to do the same. Calendly will alert when everyone is detailed their availability and suggest the best time to arrange the meeting.
Start Automating your Business Today
The best thing about these automation products is that most of them are either free of charge or offer a free trial, so there’s no cost for you to find out how much productive you could become as a business owner.
Author Bio: Aaron Darke is the founder of Darke Marketing, a marketing and creative agency based in Lake Tahoe, NV, USA. Mr. Darke has run marketing and creative agencies in both Australia and the USA since 2005. Mr. Darke has experience working with companies large and small from global alcohol companies, small to medium businesses, and local non-profits.
I am the Founder and President of Young Leaders Arena. Formerly I was the Chief Editor and program co-ordinator at Walktall. Author of the upcoming Book; Success Recipe: Start up Tool-kit for exceptional business growth. I have written numerous articles on both leadership, business start up, entrepreneurship. I have served as thought leader in many societies and organisations, including the Forum on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. I obtained my post graduate from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I also have a Bachelors from the Delta State University, Abraka. Twitter & Instagram: @Charlessholokwu